A concept born out of a personal journey… 



Sittin' On The Dock Of Oy Vey

As a Yid On The Dock Of Oy Vey,
I just blow-daven-play,
Who is right, or who is wrong? --
We all write our own song

We just know what we know,
Some folks go with the flow,
At the dock we had our talk,
As I listened like a hawk…

Some folks go to a Shule,
To fit in, or to retool,
Some folks hunt for sharps and flats
To fit better with the cats   

Some are married, some are not,
Some do kosher, some do pot,
I just do my horns and a Mac,
And sometimes a rhyme attack…

At the simchas I spill fire,
If they let me, as you hire,
On recordings I spill soul,
If they let me, if they call...

Welcome to JEWJAZZ my friend,
Hope you help me start a trend,
Call me straight, and I shall rock,
See you later on the dock!...

              Erev Sabbos, Friday, May 20, 2005, 6:52:56 PM

Copyright © Arkady  

Here are a few words to explain this poem:

May 19th 2005, turned out to be even more special day for me for several reasons..., but for now,  I'll just name a few:

Since my brother, Alex, passed away in 1999, every year I visit him at the Cemetery on his Birthday, May 19th. I bring my horn and play on his grave. Call it a Soul Mikvah, or call me silly, or overly-sentimental, but that's "how I am built" (to burrow an expression from a friend, the great Vinnie Collaiuta, whom I had priveledge to work and hang with)

Earlier in the morning I got a call from Sam Glaser. He was in town, and we were going to get together anyway that day, but then he called and told me that it was OK to stop by at his gig in the afternoon... So... After I serenaded Alex, I checked out Sam in person, since at that point we only met online a couple of weeks ago.

Besides his great music and stuff, Sam had a very peaceful, laid back vibe about him, which translated very well to the class room full of Jewish Educators at a conference. And there I was, sitting on a tiny chair, meant for 4-5 year olds, still in semi-foggy state of mind, only minutes after davening through my horn at my brother's grave..., on a sunny day -- thank you weather folks for being wrong, and not delivering on your rainy forecast!!!

God willing, soon I shall create a real cyber tribute to Alex online, but for now, I'll just say this: 

If it wasn't for Alex becoming a musician, by joining a Military Band in Kiev, Ukraine, in the former Soviet Union, at 14 years old; then going on the road as a 16 years old trombone player with Eddie Rosner, one of the top Soviet Era Big Bands; then crossing over to The Other Side of the Iron Curtain, first to Israel, and then to USA, where he played with the greats of American Jazz, among them: Buddy RichThat Jones & Mel Lewis, Slide Hampton, Lee Konitz, Woody Shaw, Dexter Gordon and many others, whom I was blessed to meet and hear, including the great Duke Ellington, whom I met in Kiev, when I was 11 years old --  I would have never become a musician!
So..., anyway, after Sam's gig, we did an illegal hang on the dock of the bay, somewhere on the North Shore of Long Island, NY, at a private beach . Then we grabbed a bite to eat, and I dropped him off at the airport, as he headed back home to The Other Side in LA, CA, USA

And so tonight, minutes before Shabbos, on Friday, May 20, 2005, 6:52:56 PM, this poem knocked on my soul's door, kind of summing up this week, and a bunch of other thing, including my recent ad in the Jewish Press newspaper... And, given yesterdays dock, and my other "yesterdays", I thought this poem's title tied it all together:

You see, if it wasn't for Alex, I wouldn't have heard all that "Western"music back on The Other Side in the USSR as a kid, listening to anything from Classical to Jazz and Rock greats in between practicing my clarinet, and often wearing out the tapes of such hits as On The Dock Of The Bay by the late great Otis Redding...

Music On/Off  Buy it on iTunes

So..., I figured that JEWJAZZ.COM would be as good a place as any to share this poem with the world... Call it a Soul Mikvah, call me silly or overly-sentimental, or just call me for a gig... ...


Friday, May 20, 2005, NYC, USA

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